Another busy day in Pepperland today. Editing of the Magical Mystery Tour movie continued, while in the studio the boys worked on both “I Am the Walrus” and “Your Mother Should Know.”

During a remix session of ”Walrus,” John was fiddling around with a radio and decided that it would be fun to record something live off the air and add it to the song (copyright law be damned!). He tried a few different things but ended up using a clip from a BBC Radio production of King Lear. As fate would have it, the clip contained this line from Oswald:

Slave, thou hast slain me: villain, take my purse:
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body;
And give the letters thou find’st about me
To Edmund Earl of Gloucester, seek him out
Among the British party: O, untimely death.

And this one from Gloucester:

What, is he dead?

This was catnip, of course, to “Paul is dead” theorists. But that is all in the future.

As for “Your Mother,” Paul and John decided to abandon the more recent (better) version recorded on September 16 in favor of the original, more straightforward arrangement. Today they added bass, tambourine, and organ to the previous mix.

In the evening, John and George recorded a segment for David Frost’s TV show, which would be broadcast later that night. I couldn’t find the video, but here’s the audio, in case you’re interested:

An interview with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was also part of the show, and many of the questions Frost asked the two Beatles concerned transcendental meditation. John and George credit TM with giving them increased energy. So does that explain their burst of creativity during this period, and ability to keep up with a fairly brutal schedule?

Could be; meditation seems to be quite beneficial for human beings in certain ways. But even if it helps you find the energy to create, it’s no guarantee of quality results. Magical Mystery Tour could be Exhibit A in this case: you can just as easily end up with MMT the album (excellent if imperfect) or MMT the movie (an unmitigated disaster).

I think also of noted transcendental meditation exponent David Lynch, who has made both Twin Peaks (one of the cultural high points of the last 50 years) and the execrable Inland Empire. I hate to self-quote (note: actually I love it), but here’s what I wrote about IE back in 2009:

Inland Empire was such a miserable experience that it cast doubt not only on the quality of Lynch’s earlier work, but on everything he stands for and believes in. If transcendental meditation causes you to make garbage like this, then there must be something wrong with transcendental meditation.

In the interest of fairness, I should note that I’ve been watching the Twin Peaks reboot lately, and found it surprisingly good. So add that to the balance sheet.

As it happens, both Paul and Ringo have done benefits for the David Lynch Foundation, which teaches TM to kids. That allows me to circle back to The Beatles and get out of this self-indulgent tangent, which I’m going to do now while the getting is good.


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